Stories this week at WFU

‘ANGELS IN AMERICA’ AUTHOR TO GIVE SEPT. 9 LECTURE — Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner will give a free, public lecture at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 in Wait Chapel. The event will be followed by a book signing at the College Bookstore, near the chapel. Kushner, an openly gay, Jewish socialist, is the author of several critically acclaimed plays, including “A Bright Room Called Day,” “Slavs,” “Homebody/Kabul,” and the seven-hour, two-part epic “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes.” Although the lecture is free and open to the public, Kushner will not do any interviews during his visit. No recording — audio or video — will be permitted during the lecture. Still photography without flash will be permitted during the first 10 minutes of his talk.

Contact: Jacob McConnico, or 336-758-5237.


COOL VIBES AND A NEW KIND OF JAZZ COME TO WFU — Stefon Harris, award-winning vibraphonist and composer, and his jazz quintet Blackout will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sept 9 in Brendle Recital Hall in Scales Fine Arts Center for the first concert in the 2004-2005 Wake Forest’s Secrest Artists Series. Harris, who plays both marimba and vibraphone — sometimes simultaneously — composes and performs a unique version of jazz funk that is taking the jazz world by storm. Harris and Blackout, featured on Harris’ latest disc release, “Evolution,” have performed to sold-out crowds at The Kennedy Center and North Sea Jazz Festival. Tickets are $16, general admission; $12 non-Wake Forest Students and senior citizens. To order, visit the Theatre Box Office or call 336-758-5295 between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Media are invited to attend the sound check at 5:30 p.m. or the concert. Video and audio taping is permitted during the first two minutes of any song. Flash photography is permitted, except near the drummer. Stefon Harris is available for interviews following the sound check at 6 p.m. and after the concert.

Contact: Cheryl Walker at or 336-758-5237.


EXHIBIT POKES FUN AT ART ESTABLISHMENT — Wake Forest’s Charlotte and Philip Hanes Art Gallery will celebrate the opening of two exhibits, “Inside the Ropes” by Ted Potter, former director of SECCA, and “Monumental Micros,” at 7 p.m. Sept. 10. The exhibit will run through Oct. 10. Potter’s large-scale paintings, which are based on friends with whom he has worked for the past 40 years, give a humorous inside look at members of the art establishment. “Monumental Micros” is a joint exhibition of small-scale sculptures by members of the Philadelphia Sculptors and Sculptors Inc. of Baltimore. Made from diverse materials, many of the works are no larger than a box of safety matches. Admission is free. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 1-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Contact: Pam Barrett, or 336-758-5237.


MANHOOD IN AMERICAN POLITICS — Sarah Watts, professor of history and author of the book “Rough Rider in the White House: Theodore Roosevelt and the Politics of Desire,” can comment about manhood in American politics. “From the first Roosevelt to the second Bush, U.S. presidents have viewed politics as a cultural war,” Watts says. “This war has been waged primarily with images, especially images that linked the nation’s well-being to their own positioning as virile and virtuous men.” Watts can comment on parallels between Theodore Roosevelt (George W. Bush’s favorite president) and President Bush. “Roosevelt helped form and popularize the cowboy-soldier type in national and international affairs,” she says. “Roosevelt’s cowboy style of politics was helped along by Wild Bill Cody’s Wild West Show at the turn of the 20th century, and Reagan and Bush by Hollywood in our time.” Watts is teaching the freshman seminar “Manhood in American Politics” and a graduate course, “The Political Culture of the American Presidency,” this fall.

Contact: Cheryl Walker, or 336-758-5237.


N.C. CANDIDATES FOR U.S. SENATE OFFER EXPERIENCE — “The best way to look at this race is from the standpoint of who is going to be the most effective U.S. Senator in terms of his ability to get things done in Washington and provide leadership for the state,” says Jack Fleer professor emeritus of political science at Wake Forest about the N.C. race for U.S. Senate. “In that regard, we have the benefit and really the luxury of having two people with rather extensive experience in D.C.” Fleer said the senate race offers voters the chance to determine whether the state will be strictly loyal to the Republican Party, which might be the case if Burr were elected and paired with Elizabeth Dole in Washington, D.C., or the chance to maintain balance if Bowles were elected to serve with Dole. Fleer, author of the book “North Carolina Politics,” is available to talk about the Senate race and the N.C. gubernatorial race. He can also provide expert comment on John Edwards and the presidential race.

Contact: Jacob McConnico, or 336-758-5237.


BIG RON PERFORMS FOR LUNCHTIME MUSIC SERIES — Big Ron and the Have Mercy Blues Band, a local blues and jazz band, will perform for the newly formed Bookstore Lunchtime Music Series from 11 a.m. to noon, weather permitting, Sept. 16. The concert, which is held in front of the College Bookstore on University Plaza (Quad), is free and open to the public. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair and a bag lunch to enjoy the entertainment. The series of Thursday concerts was initiated by University Stores as a way to thank the campus and the local community for visiting their stores and as a way to give local talent a venue from which they can promote their music. Big Ron and the Have Mercy Blues Band have appeared at Speakeasy Jazz, Ziggy’s and Fourth Street Jazz & Blues. Media are welcome to attend.

Contact: Pam Barrett, or 336-758-5237.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events, Speakers